Rear Window (1998 film)
|Directed by||Jeff Bleckner|
|Produced by||Robert V. Gaulin
|Written by||Larry Gross
|Music by||David Shire|
|Editing by||Geoffrey Rowland|
|Distributed by||American Broadcasting Company
|Release dates||November 22, 1998 (USA)|
|Running time||89 min.|
Rear Window (1998) is an American television movie directed by Jeff Bleckner. The teleplay by Larry Gross and Eric Overmyer is an updated adaptation of the classic 1954 feature film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which was based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich. It was broadcast in the US by ABC on November 22, 1998. This stars Christopher Reeve (in one of his final screen appearances), Daryl Hannah, and Robert Forster.
Quadriplegic Jason Kemp, a former architect who now uses a wheelchair, relieves the boredom of his daily existence by engaging in voyeurism, a pastime that allows him to spy on his neighbors from the rear window of his apartment. When he witnesses sculptor Julian Thorpe viciously beat his wife Ilene, he reports the incident to 911 and the police remove him from his home. Thorpe is released the following day, and that night Jason Kemp hears a blood-curdling scream from the courtyard. From that moment on, Ilene is missing from her apartment, apparently replaced by another woman. Jason, certain she was murdered by her husband, tries to convince his colleague Claudia, nurse Antonio, and friend Charlie that his suspicion is true. Thorpe slowly comes to the realization that Kemp is fully aware of his crime, and engages him in a deadly game of cat and mouse in an effort to silence him forever.
The role of Jason Kemp was the first for Christopher Reeve following the 1995 Memorial Day fall from horseback riding that left him paralyzed. Scenes detailing his character's rehabilitation were based on his own physical therapy experiences. On the set the actor reached a personal milestone: speaking without being plugged into his ventilator for the first time.
Rear Window was filmed on location in New York City, at the Burke Rehabiliation Center (where Reeve was being treated) in White Plains, New York, and in two converted Otis Elevator warehouses in Yonkers. Scenes were also shot at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
- Christopher Reeve ..... Jason Kemp
- Daryl Hannah ..... Claudia Henderson
- Robert Forster ..... Detective Charlie Moore
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson ..... Antonio Fredericks
- Anne Twomey ..... Leila Kemp
- Ritchie Coster ..... Julian Thorpe
- Allison Mackie ..... Ilene Thorpe/Ilene's sister
In his review in Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker said, "Reeve's real-life tragedy lends true fear to the scene in which the bad guy cuts off Jason's air-supply tube. But the problem here isn't Reeve's performance so much as it is the slack, awkwardly updated, and frequently confusing teleplay by Eric Overmyer and Larry Gross. The production also could have used a supporting character with the vim and vinegar of the original's Thelma Ritter." 
Awards and nominations
- Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Christopher Reeve, nominee)
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie (Christopher Reeve, winner)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries or a Movie (nominee)
- Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Television Feature or Miniseries (nominee)